Memories of Some Great Rock Clubs

From October 1982 to April 1983, I was stationed on Okinawa although I did spend some time in South Korea and seven weeks near Mt Fuji in Japan. For an emerging young metalhead such as myself, the challenge was to find a good place to unwind and totally rock out. The enlisted club provided very cheap beer and live bands brought over from the Philippines that usually consisted of four or five musicians with a pretty girl on lead vocals. Some of these bands were quite good, others, not so. However, it didn’t quench my desire to find some real hard rock so I had to look elsewhere. The town outside my base, Henoko, didn’t provide anything of the like but there was a town, just a twenty minute bus ride away that did.

Kin

Kin

The town of Kin had several cool rock bars, the most notable of these was called Sgt Peppers. It had a great sound system with several really cool video screens. The best part was that they always played great rock and metal. It was here that I first learned about bands like Saxon, Whitesnake and the Plasmatics. However, they mixed it with some classic rock as well. I remember the live video of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath as well as live footage from Nazereth playing “Love Hurts” and “Hair of the Dog.” The great thing about Sgt Peppers is that whenever you went in, you were never disappointed by the music being played.

One disadvantage with Sgt Peppers was the fact that beer was so expensive, $2.25 for a bottle was rather dear in 1982-3. So, if the funds were running low, I would go one street over to another cool rock bar called Kin Loo. The Kin Loo wasn’t as sophisticated as Sgt Peppers but the beers were only $1.50. Yes, I too wish I could pay those prices for a beer these days. It might not have had the video screens like the other place but the music was still good. The best thing was that you could request what you wanted to hear and they would not just play one song but an entire side of an album. That gave me a chance to reminisce about old favourites and get an idea of anything new. This gave me the opportunity to listen to the album that started my 1983 in great style, The Scorpions, “Blackout.”

Both of these bars were great in helping me unwind from the stresses of military life. I did manage to get to the very south of Okinawa where there was an even larger Sgt Peppers and a club called Condition Green with an in house band with the same name. But that was only the one time so I had to rely on those bars in Kin. Fortunately, they were both able to provide me with what I needed. That’s why I still remember them so fondly after so many years. Unfortunately, unlike the Driftwood, the internet didn’t have any photos of them so I can’t say if they’re still there.

Next post: National Anthems

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4 Responses to “Memories of Some Great Rock Clubs”

  1. Butch griggs Says:

    I was there at camp Hanson winter 1983. 2/7 weapons co dragon plt.

    The rock bars were the best! There was a few WM’s in camp I dated over there too. I had a blast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was in 2/2 attached to 4th Marines at Camp Schwab. Unfortunately, there weren’t any WMs there. You’re spot on about the great rock bars.

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      • Butch griggs Says:

        Oh yes! Straight out the gate…That street right there. As you cross, on the right corner it the burgers and fried rice joint. That was there in 1983. I ate for of that damn rice than anything else besides the chow hall.

        Go half way down the block and there was a rock bar I went to the most. Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Scorpions, Judas Priest, ZZ Top Eliminator was big then. Gimme all your lovin’…lol

        The WM barrack was closest to the gate as you go into the gate on the right. It’s probably still there. But everyone has to walk by their barracks to go to town. So they literally sit in the windows looking for cute guys. You’d never know it. But that’s how I started meeting girls at camp Hanson. I was only there for 6 months and about half that time I was in Korea or some place.

        I bought my Mom a really nice set of china there and a nice boom box. The china is still around.

        In 1983 I went to USFEST in CA. I was at Camp Pendleton. So I saw all those bands and then watched the videos at the bars. It was a different time.

        We used to buy 3 dollar 5ths of this rot gut. It was like gin, whiskey and something else. But the only difference was the color. No labels. Screw on tops. And we’d go to this ancient cemetery to drink this stuff. Twist the cap and toss it into the dark. There were giant bats that flew around overhead. With these ancient tombs into the hill. It was great…lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you have some great memories. I remember that burger joint. One night, while quite drunk, I had a yakisoba which I ate while riding back to Schwab in a taxi. I think I got more yakisoba over the cab’s back seat than I did in my mouth. The driver wasn’t too pleased. I left Okinawa in early April, 83 and went back to Camp Lejeune where I finished my final three months in the core.

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